Chavit Singson

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Luis C. Singson
Governor of Ilocos Sur
In office
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2013
Preceded by Deogracias Victor B. Savellano
Succeeded by Ryan Luis Singson
In office
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2007
Succeeded by Deogracias Victor B. Savellano
In office
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 2001
In office
January 1, 1972 – March 26, 1986
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Sur's First District
In office
June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1992
Preceded by Vacant
Post last held by Floro Crisologo
Succeeded by Mariano Tajon
Member of the Vigan City Council
In office
1963–1971
Personal details
Born (1941-06-21) June 21, 1941 (age 73)
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Nationality Filipino
Political party Nacionalista (2011–present)
Other political
affiliations
Lakas-Kampi-CMD (2009–2011)
Lakas-CMD (2000–2009)
PMP (1998–2000)
LDP (1992–1998)
Lakas ng Bayan (1987–1992)
KBL (1980–1987)
Liberal (1963–1972)
Residence Vigan City
Profession Businessman, Politician
Religion Roman Catholicism

Luis Crisologo Singson (born June 21, 1941), better known as Chavit Singson, is a Filipino politician. He was the Governor of the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines and the Deputy national security adviser for the Philippine government (2008). [1]

He also ran for the Senate in the 2007 Elections in the Philippines but lost.

Family history[edit]

The Singsons started to put down roots in Vigan in the 17th century. Joaquín Ayco, a merchant from Oasay, China, married a Chinese mestiza, Rosa Songnio, a Vigan native. Singson's forefathers ruled Vigan as far back as the 1800s. The post of gobernadorcillo was held by Don León Singson in 1846, Don Estanislao Singson in 1852, Don Domingo Singson in 1854, Don Tomás Singson in 1858 and Don Jose Singson in 1877.

Biography and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Chavit Singson was born on June 21, 1941 in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. He is the second among the seven children of José Singson and Caridad Crisólogo. His other siblings, aside from Evaristo (Titong), are Bernardo (deceased), Fernando (Dodoy), Maria Olivia (Honeygirl), Jeremias (Jerry), Germelina (Germy) and Jose, Jr. (Bonito).

Singson's growing-up years were spent in Vigan, where he led a normal childhood "with a very liberal upbringing and a lot of opportunity to play and make friends." He apparently got his own fondness for jueteng from his mother who loved the game. Despite their prominence in the province, it was not always a life of wealth for the Singsons. At one point, the family had to sell their appliances. Singson learned how difficult life was without money. Singson's character was strengthened especially with the seemingly unending family squabbles and political dynasties of his youth, the tobacco industry in Ilocos and how the Singsons got into tobacco growing and trading. The family brought the first redrying plant to Ilocos in the '60s. He studied in Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila and finished his Commerce degree.

Both his paternal (Singson) and maternal (Crisologo) families have dominated the political environment of the Ilocos region for generations. Although many members of both families, such as Chavit are related to one another, the two families have shared a bitter feud which reached its apex in the 1960s and 1970s, when shootings and political intimidation were rampant in the Ilocos region. Chavit considered his uncle, Floro Crisologo as a mentor, but eventually had a severe falling out with his cousin and once-confidant Vincent "Bingbong" Crisologo (who was Floro's son) and there were many bloody encounters between the two. It is currently stated by both sides that tensions have eased. [1]

Career[edit]

Singson started out as a businessman owning tobacco factories manufacturing and distributing Virginia tobacco, a bus transportation company named Partas,a construction company, a radio station, an ice plant, and a tomato paste plant. He then entered politics, becoming a political kingpin in his province for 28 years, and later playing a significant role in Philippine politics. He was the Governor of Ilocos Sur [2] for long stretches of time. He also owned a number of Jueteng (gambling) dens and was often called Luzon's reigning Jueteng Lord and The Ilocano Warlord by the press.[3][4]

Family[edit]

Singson lives in a mansion in Baluarte, near Vigan City.[5] He was a close friend of the ex-President Estrada, with whom he would gamble and drink. Singson was married to Evelyn Verzosa on May 3, 1962, but later separated. Singson has eight children, of whom the eldest, Richard was in the news due to his problems with drug addiction. [6]

Politics[edit]

Singson had secured a spot as a candidate for the 2007 Philippine senatorial elections. He has sided with the government party, despite being former friends with the former president Joseph Estrada. After losing the elections, Singson had been appointed Deputy National Security Adviser, on September 5, 2008 by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.[7][8]

Significant roles[edit]

Role in EDSA II[edit]

Singson is said to have started EDSA II, when in October 2000 he alleged he gave President Joseph Estrada Php 400 million as payoff from illegal gambling profits. On October 16, 2000, he accused the Estrada, as the "lord of all jueteng lords" for receiving 5 million pesos protection money from jueteng every month during his term of presidency. He also accused the president of receiving kickbacks from 170 million pesos excise tobacco tax. This is equivalent to taking more than US $10 million in bribes from illegal gambling lords as well as another US$3.4 million in tobacco tax kickbacks.[9] His exposé ultimately led to the impeachment trial after he accused the President of receiving over P400 million in bribes from jueteng operators. First called to the witness stand by the prosecution on Dec. 13 and continued his testimony on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15. Testified that Mr. Estrada, codenamed A.S. or Asyong Salonga in the jueteng ledger, regularly received a cut from jueteng collections. Claimed that Mr. Estrada would receive a bigger percentage from Bingo 2-Ball, a legal, modified version of jueteng that was the brainchild of the President's friend and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. consultant Charlie "Atong" Ang. Testified that Ang, presidential adviser for Bicol affairs Anton Prieto and former Estrada political adviser Jaime Policarpio regularly received jueteng collections, and that Senators John Osmeña and Teresa Aquino-Oreta received P1 million each as balato from mahjong. Also claimed that he issued a check to beauty queen Joelle Pelaez for and on behalf of Mr. Estrada. Called back to the stand on Dec. 19 as a witness for Article 2 or the impeachment charge of graft and corruption.

After more than 30 years of friendship, Gov. Luis Singson leveled the graft-related accusations that led to the impeachment charges that have been filed against Philippine President Joseph Estrada. He charged that President Joseph Estrada, several members of his family, and his friends were benefiting from jueteng.

Singson said that he had delivered more than 400 million pesos ($8 million) in gambling payoffs from jueteng to Estrada. The governor said he began collecting and delivering the money in 1998, a few months after Estrada was elected president. He added that he participated in the payoffs until August 2000, and that the money drops were made in Estrada's office. He also said Estrada had received 130 million pesos ($2.6 million) from provincial tax revenues.

Estrada was put under investigation, but on 16 January 2001, a key piece of evidence was blocked in court, leading to protests in Manila and other major cities backing to vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Estrada's government quickly fell. Estrada was put to jail pending the investigation, leading the then Vice-President Gloria Arroyo to resume the presidency on January 20, 2001.

Role in the Hello Garci scandal[edit]

In 2005, during the nation's Presidential Hello Garci scandal, Singson claimed he had a tape of a conversation where the jailed president Joseph Estrada stated he was planning to return to power by disposing whoever would lead the transitional government after current president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo resigns.

Mauling of son[edit]

On July 24, 2007, 2 men mauled Singson’s son, Randolf “Randy” Singson, 43, inside an Internet gaming shop. The suspects were identified only as a certain Mr. Chen and his still unidentified male companion. Randolf suffered multiple injuries in the head and body, and was taken to the Rizal Medical Center for treatment. On July 11, 2010, Ronald Singson was caught in Hong Kong by authorities for smuggling 6.67 grams of cocaine. Singson was on his way to Macau to watch an Usher concert.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ubac, Michael (6 September 2008). "Chavit Singson named deputy national security adviser". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Singson, Luis Personal Information www.isite.ph Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  3. ^ Aquino, Belinda (10 February 2001). "Don't mess with Ilocano warlords". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  4. ^ McCoy, Alfred. Policing America’s Empire The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin press. p. 481. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Coladilla, Azrael. "Inside gov. Chavit Singson's home - a photo blog". Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "My son's missing since friday or Saturday". Manila Standard. 5 October 2000. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  7. ^ gmanews.tv, Arroyo names Chavit Singson deputy nat'l security adviser. Gmanews.tv (2008-09-06). Retrieved on 2012-07-12.
  8. ^ abs-cbnnews.com, Singson confirms appointment as deputy NSA
  9. ^ Arroyo sworn in as president of Philippines CNN.com Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  10. ^ Chavits Congressman Son Ronald Singson Jailed in Hong Kong on Drug Charges. gmanews.tv video.
  11. ^ Two men maul Chavit Singson’s son inside Internet gaming shop The Daily Tribune. Retrieved 26 July 2007.[dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Limpe, Linda C.The 9 Lives of Luis "Chavit" Singson, Forsight Books, 2003.

External links[edit]

External links[edit]